Beach Lessons,  Lessons

Personal Treasure or Free Handout?

I am one Bible study student who loves to use workbooks and videos.  I also teach a women’s life group and lead a D-group (discipleship group) at my church. Usually I have specific curriculum to use for those as well. This has helped me to be disciplined in my study of the Word. It has led me to a regular time daily with the Lord as I’ve sought to know and love Him more.

The one thing that has pushed me even deeper and led me to reading extra commentary is teaching the Word. Even though I have lots of information and questions in the studies written by others, when I am going to teach, I know I need to be prepared for questions outside the information I may have at hand. Now, I do NOT have to know all the answers (and I make that clear to those in my groups!), but I’ve found that being prepared with extra study has been so helpful not only to the members, but to me as well because I personally dug to find the answers.

Last year I observed hungry herons watching fishermen on the shore. It looked like several were always stalking someone who was trying to catch their fish dinner for that night. Only once did I see a heron actually get one of the fish when the fisherman accidentally dropped it. It made me wonder why the bird didn’t just go catch his own fish!

Later as I was walking the beach I saw another fisherman and a heron and I thought, now, if the man had a bucket full of shells instead of fish, I’d hover too. I kept walking the beach in search of shells and eventually I found a treasure trove of them after days of no shells at all. The first one I found for myself only inspired me to keep looking. Each time I found another, I pushed to keep on searching.

God pointed out to me that if I’d not found the shell myself (especially after a season of not finding any) I wouldn’t appreciate it near as much. To me, it’s all about the hunt. I love to hunt and I love to find. To be handed a shell by someone else is nice, but it just doesn’t mean as much as finding it myself.

Isn’t that how it is with the study of the Word. We love learning from others, but when God reveals a treasure from the Bible directly into our hearts…one we dug out for ourselves…we do not forget it. And it makes us want to dig for more of those spiritual treasures.

What about you? Do you dig into the Word yourself or do you only rely on second hand Truth? I will be the first to say (and I’ve witnessed this first hand over the years of serving in women’s ministry through LifeWay Women) that God has gifted so many women’s authors with a message that MUST be shared with the masses. I am almost always doing the latest study myself.

But, that should only lead us to dig truth from the Word for ourselves. As I’ve heard Beth Moore say many times, “the Word of God is living and active” (Hebrews 4:12) and that means I need to actively pursue His Truth.

Just like I cherish that precious first shell I find after a “shell drought” at the beach, I cherish His Word even more each time He gives me personally a treasure from the Bible.

You know, I bet if those herons would just go fish for themselves, they’d not have to stalk the fishermen on the beach!

Banner photo by Sri Jalasutram on Unsplash

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